Sinhalese - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. The largest kin group is the "microcaste" ( pavula ), an endogamous and corporate bilateral kin group that represents the convergence of several families' bilateral kindreds. Pavula members share paddy lands, often dwell together in a hamlet, and cooperate in agriculture, trade, and politics. A pavula's members share a unique status within the caste; the group's internal equality is symbolized through life-cycle rites and communal feasts. Descent is fully bilateral in practice, but noncorporate agnatic descent lines linking families with aristocrats of the Buddhist Kingdoms may be maintained for status purposes.


Kinship Terminology. The Sinhalese, including Moors, use Dravidian terms, which are associated with symmetrical cross-cousin marriage.

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